It’s a Deal!

My goal last week was to stitch the last block of Civil War Bride and take a wee break before starting the borders.  I hadn’t worked on “Friend’s of Baltimore” in a while and I was suffering from “separation anxiety”.  So, I started to work on the next block of “Friend’s of Baltimore”, which I must admit, had me very intimidated!  The ferns have super-intense inner curves and I have been dreading doing them ever since I started this quilt.  True story!

A running dialogue started in my head and it went something like this…”Yikes!  Look at those ferns.  There isn’t just one, there are four!  How in the world am I ever going to do those ferns.  I’ll just leave this block and start another one.  Maybe I’ll just substitute some easier leaves.  Oh sure!  Take the easy way out!  OK…here is what I will do.  I will make just one of the ferns!  And, after doing just one, if I still think they are way too difficult, I will just do some easier leaves.  But here is the deal.  I have to make one fern before I can start any other part of the block.  Okay…!”

And that is what I did.  I trimmed a small section of the seam allowance and prepped it.

leaf 2

leaf 3

Then I trimmed a bit more.  And prepped a bit more.

leaf 4

I am not saying it happened in the blink of an eye, but before I knew it, I finished one (!) fern!

leaf 7 (2)

I stitched it in place and then I added a few leaves and some stems.

leaf 8

I added a lovely flower…and another fern!

leaf 9

Til next time…



If I Were An Elephant Trainer….

If I were an elephant trainer, I would definitely want my elephant and I to have matching outfits!



Let me show you how I tackled his pants.  As you can see from the pattern, this is another one of those really dicey curves.  By now you know that I will find an easier way to stitch it!


First, I drew a line.  Now I have two pieces that are very easy to stitch, instead of one piece that will probably make me swear…a lot!


So here are the prepped pieces from the wrong side. You can see that I left one of the pieces un-prepped at the seam line.


And here are the pieces from the right side.  Could it get any easier?


Before I could stitch the pants in place, I had to pick out some shoes for the trainer.  I chose some pretty fancy shoes!


Now, one leg….


…and then the other!DSCN4314

Now…on to the exciting part!  This block is the very last block of The Civil War Bride Quilt.  I can stitch the last (!) row together.


And, finally!  Here are all the blocks!  Drum roll, please!


Til next time…


A Sharply Dressed Elephant!

Once I finished both of the horses (and a nice little trough) I was ready to start the elephant.  I searched through my stash for some gray fabric.  I didn’t want just any gray fabric, I wanted something an elephant would be proud of!  Sadly, the only gray fabric I own is a tone-on-tone that just says “blah”.  So, I went shopping.  And this is what I found!  I am not exactly sure if it is even gray…maybe more of a brownish-gray-taupe kind of colour.  The moment I laid eyes on it, though, I knew it’s destiny!


So…I did the same thing with the elephant legs that I did with the horses legs.  I cut the templates into easier to manage pieces.

elephant legs

Next, I prepped the legs, tail and tusks.

elephant legs 2

Then came the trunk.

elephant 3

And the body.

elephant 4

And an ear!

elephant 5

The whole time I was working on all the body parts, I was wondering what fabric I should use for the blanket on his back.  This is what I chose!  Spiffy!

elephant 6

Til next time…


P.S.  I just noticed in the photo that the elephant appears to be walking on water!  I may have to rethink that!

A Challenge…or is it?

As I was getting ready to start the next (and last!!) block of Civil War Bride, I noticed the horse shapes looked a little challenging.  If I were to cut in between the horse’s legs, there would not be much of a seam allowance.

horse 1

Don’t get me wrong, I am always up for a challenge!  But it just takes a few simple steps to turn a challenging shape into something very do-able.  So here is what I did…

First, I added a few lines.

horse 2

So, now I have 3 very simple shapes!

horse 3

I prepped the legs and glued them in place…

horse 4

I started to prep the body, but I thought the ears looked a little dicey.  So I drew a line…

horse 6

…..and I made another simple shape.

horse 8

I glued the ear in place…

horse 9

And, finally…a very easy to stitch horse!  And I didn’t even break a sweat!

horse 11

With this cooler than normal weather, I am able to hand-quilt most nights.  The borders are coming along very nicely.  I am finished the bottom border and I have passed the half-way mark of the side border.



Finally, here is the last completed block of Civil War Bride!


Til next time….


An Epiphany!

I must say I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly I am quilting the borders of “Bouquet For A New Day”.  The bottom border is finished and I have now marked the side borders.  As I was marking the borders, my mind wandered and I had an epiphany!  ( a sudden realization–a flash of recognition in which someone or something is seen in a new light).

I thought…it is all well and good that the borders match up in the center of the border.  But…wouldn’t it be interesting to put a design or something at the center and have the borders flow out from the design?? I thought it would be fun to incorporate 2013 in the top border (the year this quilt better be finished!)  So here is what I did…

First, I found a font in Illustrator that suited the quilt.  Then I drew an oval around it and printed it out.  The borders are only 5″ wide so the design could only be around 4″ tall.  Next, I drew some  lines on the pattern to help center it on the border fabric.

1 (2)

I put the quilt on my light box and placed the pattern just under the top layer.  I used the lines on the pattern to make sure everything was nicely centered.


Next, I drew the lines with a Frixion marker.


Then, using the stencil I continued drawing the border, until I reached the oval.


I flipped the stencil over and continued on my merry way.  Easy peasy!


In the meantime, I have been working away on the next Civil War Bride block.  This block consists of a lot of layering.  For instance…first the leaves, then the stem and then the feet!


This is the block so far!


Til next time….


So Many Options!

I am very close to have all the blocks of Civil War Bride Quilt finished.  Yipee!

This block went together pretty quickly.  As I was working on it, I kept thinking that something was missing.  Like stems, leaves and flowers.  Not a single one in the entire block!

So I started with a bird and a rooster.

2 (2)

And I added a cat.

2 (1)

There was something that was nagging at me about the combination of fabrics I was using, so I moved onto the butterflies.  I did a little bit of fussy-cutting for the butterfly wings. I made a few sets of wings so I could audition them.


These butterflies made the final cut.




These ones didn’t.  Although very interesting, all I see is raccoon eyes!


And cat eyes!


So you can see from the finished block, the red calico cat is now black, and the blue bird is red.  It is always good to keep your options open!


Speaking of options, the brochure from The Elly Sienkiewicz Applique Academy is now online!  So many great teachers and awesome classes!  Time to start checking out all the options!

Til next time,